Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Personal Reflection

Throughout the semester we have learned the fundamentals to hand drafting.  Although most of the design work we will be doing will be on computer based programs, having general drafting knowledge is essential to being a successful designer.  We have focused on everything from architectural lettering to orthographic drawings to perspective drawings.  We have learned how to create accurate scaled drawings of basic shapes to more complex real life objects.  Although I had had a brief introduction to drafting in a class I took at C of C, this class was much more detailed and thorough and I really feel like my skills as a draftsman have definitely improved.

3rd Year Studio Critique

On our last day of class, we were able to attend the 3rd year's final studio critique.  They presented two projects--one individual project on a new section to Central Regional Hospital and a group project for a mixed use space in downtown Durham.  The individual project focused on designing a new center for the psychiatric ward of the hospital.  They were to create spaces for the boys, girls, children, as well as communal areas.  It was very interesting to see each designers individual approach and inspiration for the space.  Some were inspired by the seasons while others were inspired by shapes and colors.  I was incredibly impressed with the caliber of work presented for this project; however, the verbal presentation for some was lacking.  Being able to "sell" your work is an important part of being a designer, and it just seemed that it was less natural for some. 
The mixed use space in downtown Durham project was very interesting to me as it is an excellent example of the type of design work I really want to be doing.  With my background in historic preservation, it was interesting to see how the designers chose to design the new space in the old building.  The building is to have a wine bar/commercial space on the first floor and residential space on the second and third floor.  This group project was very impressive as well as each design presented a variety of resolutions to the space.  Overall, I felt the work spoke louder than the presenters, but in general I was very impressed. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Luminaire Final

For our final project in studio, we were to create a luminaire that portrayed the light effect of the solar light phenomenon we witnessed earlier this semester.  We were able to use a variety of materials that we had worked with throughout the semester.  My inspiration for this project came from a sunset I observed in Charleston.  The sunset illuminated the whole sky creating an array of warm colors that streaked across the horizon.  I wanted to create a luminaire that had a light effect that created an image on the wall that emulated the sunset.  Initially I had imagined creating a hanging light that focused on illuminating the room, but after many trials my light transformed in to a wall sconce with the effect predominately projecting on the wall.  I went through a variety of paper materials testing various options in sheerness and opaqueness.  I wanted the paper to be opaque enough so you couldn't see the light source, but sheer enough so the light could come through.  My final design used a textured cream colored paper that emitted a warm color as the light went through it.  Using balsam wood as the spine, I attached nine strips of paper of various widths a quarter inch apart to it adding another thinner piece of wood to the back to cover the joinery.  The strips of paper formed concentric circles going up and down from the center strip that covered the light source.  Also as I knew my light was going to hang on the wall, I wanted to use a lightweight type of wood.  Going back, I think I would have investigated other materials that were lightweight as well as durable, as I found that the balsam wood wasn't very sturdy.  Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of my design, as it not only created the light effect I had envisioned, but it was also aesthetically appealing.